portrait

noun
por·​trait | \ˈpȯr-trət, -ˌtrāt\

Definition of portrait 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : picture especially : a pictorial representation of a person usually showing the face

2 : a sculptured figure : bust

3 : a graphic portrayal in words

portrait

adjective

Definition of portrait (Entry 2 of 2)

: of, relating to, or being a rectangular document having the vertical dimension longer than the horizontal dimension switching from landscape to portrait mode — compare landscape sense 3

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Examples of portrait in a Sentence

Noun

The queen posed for her portrait. The book presents a portrait of life in a small town.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Kwandibens, 40, has been taking portraits of indigenous people for the past 18 years. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Unprecedented Billboard Campaign Puts Spotlight on Indigenous Artists in Canada," 13 July 2018 Since taking the helm in 2017, Simons has mounted runway shows that paint an elegiacal portrait of the American Dream through the eyes of an immigrant. Robin Givhan, Houston Chronicle, "Nothing else Melania Trump wears will ever matter again," 13 July 2018 Think of this as a portrait of the artist as a young woman. Laurel Graeber, New York Times, "9 Things to Do With Your Kids in N.Y.C. This Weekend," 12 July 2018 Back in May, the royal family released portraits of the princess with her baby brother in honor of her third birthday. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Princess Charlotte Tells Paparazzi "You're Not Coming" at Prince Louis' Christening," 10 July 2018 Meanwhile, testimonials from migrants who have already been united with their children provide a harrowing portrait of the administration’s negligence. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "Justice Department Asks for More Time to Reunite Migrant Families," 6 July 2018 After the two men leave, Waterford has Nick hang a family portrait of the Waterfords with Nick and June’s baby. Rena Gross, Billboard, "'The Handmaid's Tale' Season 2, Episode 12 Recap: 15 Reactions to 'Postpartum'," 4 July 2018 There are daredevil surprises, like a portrait of Jimi Hendrix by Patrick Procktor (1973) at Christopher Kingzett, where courage and connoisseurship are conspicuously hand in hand. David Netto, Town & Country, "All the Treasures at the Masterpiece Design Fair in London," 29 June 2018 Another game has guests forming teams and creating a portrait of Queen Elizabeth in 30 minutes. Sheryl Devore, Lake County News-Sun, "Take a day trip to the past at Bristol Renaissance Faire," 25 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Yet for all the darkness, there’s a welcome and important dose of levity too, from a hilarious video of a beauty products fair by María Luisa Bemberg to Regina Vater’s playful, costumed self-portrait photographs. New York Times, "The Art of Staying Cool: 10 Can’t-Miss Summer Shows in New York," 4 July 2018 Arneson sets the tone through a ceramic self-portrait head from 1973, wall-mounted near the entry. Leah Ollman, latimes.com, "This Candy Store wasn't a candy store: Remembering a California gallery that made art stars," 3 July 2018 In portrait orientation, the left side of the bottom bar only has space for about three to four app icons. Valentina Palladino, Ars Technica, "Acer Chromebook Tab 10 review: Chrome OS revives Google’s tablet future," 23 June 2018 And even though the demand for photographers in traditional media has declined, there’s still a high-demand for commercial and portrait photographers. Jenny Knizner, USA TODAY, "20 In-Demand Freelance Skills That’ll Get You Hired Today," 4 June 2018 Dorothea Tanning’s self-portrait Birthday (1942) shows her bare-breasted, standing with a small winged monster with her back to a house full of open doors. Thomas Hine, Philly.com, "Art Museum show gives American Modernists - and Philly ones - new respect," 12 Apr. 2018 The heads presage a self-portrait print from 1990, displayed nearby, as well as the soft fabric figurative sculptures that Bourgeois took up in the late ’90s. Roberta Smith, New York Times, "Louise Bourgeois: Imagination Unfolds in All Dimensions," 27 Sep. 2017 Portrait sessions for families whose memories were stolen by the wind. Southern Living, "What Stands in a Storm, Part III: Fellowship," 1 May 2017 There’s a 1922 self-portrait painting of Best Maugard in the show. Holland Cotter, New York Times, "“Paint the Revolution: Mexican Modernism, 1910-1950”," 27 Oct. 2016

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'portrait.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of portrait

Noun

1570, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1975, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for portrait

Noun

Middle French, from past participle of portraire

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Statistics for portrait

Last Updated

4 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for portrait

The first known use of portrait was in 1570

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More Definitions for portrait

portrait

noun

English Language Learners Definition of portrait

: a painting, drawing, or photograph of a person that usually only includes the person's head and shoulders

: a detailed description of something or someone

: a way of printing a page so that the shorter sides are on the top and bottom and the longer sides are on the left and right

portrait

noun
por·​trait | \ˈpȯr-trət, -ˌtrāt\

Kids Definition of portrait

: a picture of a person usually showing the face

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Comments on portrait

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